Palm’s Secret Weapon: HotSpot for Pre Plus and Pixi Plus

by Jeff Wiener on January 22, 2010

It’s amazing how the internet has changed the way we gather news. It’s hard to keep a secret these days, even with all sorts of top company brass charged with the task of keeping news and tidbits of juicy information on lockdown. The tech world isn’t immune to the irresistible crush of leaked news, either, and Palm’s Pixi Plus and Pre Plus seemingly had little left to disclose when they were unveiled at this month’s CES.

Amazingly, as though to prove that secrets were indeed still possible, Palm uncorked Mobile HotSpot and all bets were off. Sure, everyone knew about the carrier and the handsets. This, though, was different.

As Techcrunch reports, the Mobile HotSpot application is a sweet ditty that turns the Pre Plus or Pixi Plus into a neat WiFi router for up to five users at a time. Better still, HotSpot is fuelled by Verizon’s 3G network.

Setting up Mobile HotSpot is so easy a government bureaucrat could do it: merely install the program, toss the switch to the “on” position and choose a password. In just a few short seconds you’ve managed to hook up a new WiFi hotspot for your available networks.

Running Mobile HotSpot is about as easy as installing it. Changing the name of the network is as effortless as tapping the existing name and replacing it with a new one, while another tap-and-play feature makes changing passwords as painless as changing underwear.

Like most things in life, however, there are a few drawbacks. For one, Mobile HotSpot doesn’t have a data usage meter. This can make keeping tabs on your data usage a bit of a setback, as you’ll have to head over to the Verizon Wireless site and file through your account pages. Including a basic meter would have made things simpler.

Even with this inconsequential setback, Mobile HotSpot is a nice addition for Palm’s Pixi Plus and Pre Plus. It’s a great way to offset AT&T’s dithering about the iPhone and it offers a sleek alternative for providing multi-person mobile broadband, making it a respectable option for its $40 monthly price tag.

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. Follow by: RSS, Twitter,, or Friendfeed

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